Academic Research & Teaching

The rabbit hole of literature opens up a world of imagination and ideas that are endlessly fascinating to the curious reader. As an academic, Dr Kirstin Mills investigates the elusive, exciting and mysterious connections between literature and the different ways that writers engage with the unknown worlds of the supernatural, the uncanny, dreams, and the mind. Her research focuses broadly on the Gothic from 1750 to the present day, as well as fantastic literature of the long nineteenth century. She is particularly interested in the intersection of literature and science during this period, and the ways that literature was used to understand and explore many of the period’s most challenging and exciting ideas about possible extensions to and alterations of reality.

Kirstin earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, with a doctoral thesis entitled Imagined Worlds: The Role of Dreams, Space, and the Supernatural in the Evolution of Victorian Fantasy (2014). She earned her BA (First Class Hons) from the same university with a thesis examining the intersections of psychology and epic fantasy in Beowulf and Tolkien. She has since published research in a range of formats from journals and books to podcasts and interviews, presented her research at conferences and events, and blogs about her research.

Dr Kirstin Mills, academic, university lecturer, university tutor

Latest Publications:

Gothic Dreams and Nightmares, edited by Carol Margaret Davison

‘Morphean Space and the metaphysics of nightmare: Gothic theories of dreaming in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Notebooks’ Gothic Dreams and Nightmares, ed. Carol Margaret Davison, Manchester University Press, 2024, pp. 62-82.

Available via Publisher’s Website.

The Palgrave Handbook of the Vampire

‘Vampires and Digital Mobile Media.’ The Palgrave Handbook of the Vampire, ed. Simon Bacon, online December 2023.

Available via Publisher’s Website.

Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing; Dr Kirstin Mills contributed a chapter about 'Lucas Malet.'

‘Malet, Lucas [Mary St Ledger Kingsley Harrison].’ The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing, ed. Lesa Scholl and Emily Morris, 2022, pp. 965-969.

Available via Publisher’s Website.

< See full list of publications >

Research Interests:

The Gothic, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Romantic Literature, Victorian Literature, Literature and Science, the Supernatural, Space, Dreams and Nightmare, Representations of the Mind, Literature and Psychology, Digital Literature, Adaptation Studies, Gothic Television, Folklore, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Children’s Literature, Medieval Literature.

Current Projects:

Kirstin’s current major projects include a monograph, which is the first to explore the adaptation of classic nineteenth-century Gothic texts for twenty-first-century digital mobile media, and an edited book on the Victorian Gothic and the Occult.

If you wish to contact Kirstin about future projects or collaborations, please do so [here].


– International Gothic Association
– Gothic Association of Australia and New Zealand
– British Association for Victorian Studies
– Australasian Victorian Studies Association
– The Lewis Carroll Society

Research-Led Teaching:

Kirstin is passionate about sharing the joys of research in the humanities with students, and stoking their imagination, excitement, critical thinking and academic writing skills. With over a decade of teaching experience, she incorporates her research into her teaching to offer students exciting insights into the state of the field, and to empower them as researchers in their own right. She particularly enjoys helping students see the humanities (and particularly literary studies) as a lens through which to conceptualise and critique contemporary life, politics, society and history. She is currently Director of the Master of Research and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University, Sydney Australia. In this role she helps budding researchers develop the essential research, communication, and critical and analytical thinking skills required for further research pursuits. Prior to this role, Kirstin taught in Macquarie University’s Department of English at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including courses on Gothic Literature, Children’s Literature, Contemporary Literature, and Narrative Theory.

[Read Kirstin’s Teaching Portfolio]

INCSA Book Series:

Kirstin is also a Series Editor for the International Nineteenth Century Studies Association Book Series with Clemson University Press. The series emphasizes interdisciplinary, international and intertemporal research in all the arts and humanities, social sciences and sciences. It dramatically revises conceptual and chronological definitions of the nineteenth century, and expands its research to cover both academic and academic-related practice today. Queries and book proposals are welcome.

More information:

International Nineteenth Century Studies Association Book Series, Clemson University Press

Dr Kirstin Mills delivering a lecture at Macquarie UniversityConference Presentations

Kirstin presents her research and has organised panel discussions for many international conferences and events. She has been awarded several bursaries, and has written – and filmed documentaries – about many of these events.

Find out about upcoming dates and read about past events HERE.

Other Research Profiles:

Macquarie University Researchers:
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On the Blog

Literature, Folklore and Academic Research